1904 Public Works Report | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

1904 Public Works Report

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Excerpts:

IV - GENERAL REMARKS

16. Several works of importance have either been completed or pushed forward during the year.

The Electric Tramway route was inaugurated, or at least the first section of it, on 30th July, the remainder coming into use shortly afterwards.

The Ordinance authorizing this train way was passed in 1902. Plans were prepared by Messrs. Alfred Dickinson & Company of Birmingham and the work was carried out by Messrs. Dick, Kerr & Company of London.

The total length of single track is 14 miles which is laid in 9 1/4 miles of route, the track is laid to a guage of 3' 6" with rails of the girder type weighing 86 lbs. per yard. Each rail joint is double bonded with No. 0. S. W. G. copper bonds.

The line is worked on the overhead trolley system, the pressure on the trolley wire being 500 volts. The generating station, centrally placed, is fitted with two continuous current, direct connected railway generators of the multipolar type, compound wound giving a potential of 550 volts and making 100 revolutions per minute and are keyed direct to the engines which are of the horizontal cross compound type, each being equal to a maximum brake load of 557 brake horse power. The boiler power is supplied by two double drum "Babcock and Wilcox" water tube boilers each having 3,654 square feet of heating surface evaporating 12,000 lbs. of water per hour, working at a pressure of 100 lbs. per square inch.

Twenty-six cars in all are provided for the passenger traffic since running commenced, the traffic in spite of drawbacks has been operated in a successful manner.

The maintenance of the track will however be a source of constant trouble, the concrete apparently not being able to stand the incessant wear and tear of ricksha traffic.

Interference by induction with the Government Telephone system is being caused, but the matter is under the consideration of the Government who have powers to deal with the matter under Ordinance 10 of 1902.

The Naval Yard Extension.

The general reclamation here is approaching completion. The walls of the tidal basin and the sea walls are, in great part, ready for the coping. The dock bottom is nearly completed and the dock walls are well advanced. The reclamation, West of the dock, and the diversion of the Albany Nullah are finished.

Extension of Naval Hospital, Mount Parish.

A new wing has been added to this building and completed during the year.

Duplication of Mount Parker Tramway.

This cable car route at the Tai Koo Sugar Refinery has been doubled during the year.

Messrs. Butterfield & Swire's New Docks and Shipyard, Quarry Bay.

This Shipyard is still in progress.

The side walls of the Graving Dock being completed for two thirds of the length and the remainder in progress.

Excavation of “Dumpling” is well advanced, and that for the Entrance is being proceeded with.

The Coffer-Dam enclosing the Entrance of the Dock is completed and the Coffer-Dam for the Slipways well advanced. The excavation for the Slipways is also being proceeded with.

The General Excavation for the site of the yard has been carried on throughout the year and very good progress has been made ; a large quantity of rock and decomposed granite has been tipped into the sea for the Reclamation, which is also well advanced.

Sharp’s Memorial Hospital, Mount Kellet.

This building has been rapidly pushed forward and is now nearing completion.

The New Military Hospital, Bowen Road.

This building has been in progress for over two years and is now nearing completion.

New Military Prison.

This building situate to the East of Garden Road was also commenced this year and good progress was made with it.

Tramway to the Peak.

A Bill was read a first time in the Legislative Council on 22nd September, 1904, for a second Tramway at the Peak, which is proposed to be constructed from the foot of Ice House Street through the Botanical Gardens and Glenealy Ravine and up to a point near No. 6 Police Station, Victoria Gap.

Reclamation Works.

The following reclamations were also in progress :—

                                                                               Sq. ft.
Marine Lot No. 285, Shaukiwan Road,              201,132
Kowloon Marine Lot No. 83, Hunghom,.     129,750
Kowloon Marine Lots Nos. 74 & 75, Kowloon Point, 382,522
Kowloon Marine Lots Nos. 34 &81, Blackhead's Point, 74,996
Kowloon Marine Lot No. 85, To Kwa Wan,            140,000

Those at Kowloon Point were well advanced at the close of the year, the total amount of reclamation involved in the above amounting to 21.31 acres.

Buildings on the Praya Reclamation

The "Alexandra" Buildings were completed this year and occupied, also the "St George's" Buildings and the South-East Block of "Princes" Buildings.

[...]

Comments

The  extensions granted in Hongkong were not important. Messrs. Blackhead & Co, the owners of Kowloon Marine Lot 34, were granted by the Secretary of State an area of 75,996 square feet, most of which was sea

 

A portion of Inland Lot 8 having an area of 26,702 square feet, including a number of houses, was resumed under the Crown Lands  Resumption Ordinance, 1900, in connection with the Kau U Fong Resumption Scheme, the total amount paid to owners being $224,551.47. This is dealt with in para 74.

 

Rural Building Lot 83 having an area of 1,650 square feet was surrendered to the government by the owner for the sum of $3.000, the area being required for the extension of the Chair Coolie Quarters at the Peak. Inland Lot 509 was purchased by the Government for waterworks purposes for the sum of $6,500.

 

 

Grants on nominal terms include :

 

In Hong Kong An area of 54,450 square feet at Mount; Caroline For burying funeral urns containing disinterred remains; an area of 48,382 square first as an extension to the Jewish Cemetery ; an area of 5,566 square feet for a District Watchman's House at Wanchai ; an area of 20,000 square feet as an extension to the Alice Memorial Hospital ; and an area. Of 373,900 square feet for a Naval Infectious Diseases Hospital at Mount Parish

 

7.The negotiations between the Colonial Government and the Military Authorities for exchanges of land were still unconcluded at the close of the year. The Military Authorities were granted a lease for 10 years of an area a little over 255 acres in extent near Kowloon City as Rifle Ranges and Reserve in consideration of their having relinquished their Ranges on the site of King’s Park, the Government agreeing to pay cost of construction of butts, &c., which, including a diversion of road and resumption of cultivated land within the area, amounted to $36,450 52. The Ranges are practically completed.

 

8.—The Admiralty were granted an area of 402,400 square feet in Kowloon for the purpose of erecting a coaling pier and boat shelter, also an area of 282 acres at Long Harbour and Jones cove in the New Territory for the construction of Rifle Ranges, the laud to revert to the Colonial Government whenever it ceases to be used for this purpose. A strip 50 feet in width from the North of Kowloon Marine Lot 36, having an area of about 17,500 square feet, was handed over to the Colonial Government for the purpose of forming a 100-foot road in connection with the scheme for providing main thoroughfares in Kowloon, the Admiralty receiving in, exchange the portion of Austin Road situated between their properties - Kowloon Marine Lots 41 and 35

 

9.The Government, by Notification No. 562 on 5th August, 1904, decided to dispose of certain Pier sites in Hongkong. Those opposite Marine Lots to be sold to the owners of the lots, if they desired, at fixed rates ; others opposite Crown Land by Public Auction. The right of erecting piers under long leases was granted in two cases in Hongkong and ten cases in Kowloon

 

The typhoon of August 25th and 26th unfortunately inflicted a certain amount of damage on house property in the Colony. Three houses totally collapsed, whilst 21 other premises were damaged to some extent. The premises which collapsed were very old and in fact none of the property damaged was of very recent construction. Careful investigations were made into the cause of each collapse.

The repairs to the West Point Filter Beds were necessary through the firing of heavy artillery from the Victoria Battery, the vibration set up causing a crack along three of the filter beds and shaking down some of the ceiling of the bungalow.

 

This Contract was signed on 19th of March, but owing to some unavoidable delay, in the removal of the Sanitary ‘Board matsheds, and therefore in gaining possession of the site, work did not commence until 16th of May, 1904. The Architects, Messrs. Linen & ORANGE, who are superintending this work  report as follows:

 

The foundations of the main Institute building proved very unequal. on the Western end being loose filling for a depth of 15 to 20 feet. “ and on the Eastern end solid, but of disintegrated granite containing water. On this foundation an extra on contract for cement concrete in lieu of lime concrete became necessary, valued at $376.50

 

The foundations of the Western side of the Animal Houses were of a greater depth than taken in the quantities and there will be a slight extra on same.

 

The buildings have progressed satisfactorily, the brick work, roofing and iron and cement concrete floors of main buil-ling being completed and the brick work to Animal Houses and Servants’ quarters well in hand.

 

The brickwork is somewhat rough in appearance owing to the inequality in size of the bricks, but the bricks are of good quality Canton make.

It is anticipated the Work under this Contract will be completed by 1st of May, 1905

 

This work begun in 1903 was completed on 9th June. 1904. lt ‘consists of a new shed to hold 240 cattle, lean-to sheds to hold 283 more head, a fodder shed, increased accommodation for coolies and two new water tanks. This work entailed a great deal of excavation and filling in. An average depth of 10 feet of filling in below the floor level being required. Some subsidence took place in the spot which affected ea lean-to shed but in no case have the walls been affected. Particulars of these sheds are given in the 1903 Report

Including Quarters for Inspector.—The contract for this Work was let in October, 1903, but was only commenced in December as the site for reasons previously stated had to be altered. It consists of a disinfecting shed in two compartments each 29’ 6” by 25' 0.”; a two-storey store with concrete floors 49' 6” by 24' 6”; an office 16' 0” by 14' 0”; a store 20’ 0 ' by 14’ 0”; an office for the Medical Officer of Health 34' 0” by 16’ 0" with two rooms under it; Coolie quarters, bathrooms latrines, &c.; Inspectors’ Quarters 4 rooms 16’ 0” by 14’ 0” with coolie quarters, kitchens,'&c.; the whole contained within a boundary Wall with a yard about 95’ 0" by 70’ 0”. The present site entailed a great amount of piling owing to the presence of a lot of silted up stream beds and layers of sand, in some cases 10 or 12 feet deep. The whole of the works were’ finished by the end of the year with the exception of sorne concreting in the yard and the Medical Ofiieer of Health’s office, the latter being an addition to the original contract and estimated at $5,000. The  disinfecting shed with its apparatus was handed over to the sanitary board for use in May and the office and stores with half the yard in November, which allowed them to give up the use of their office at 29 Austin Road.

The contract for this Depot, which was approved by the Public Works Committee, having been let to Mr. Him Tai, work was commenced in April and fairly substantial progress was made by the end of the year. The preparation of the site was completed and the Foundations for the buildings were put in. The site for the Caretaker’s Quarters on the hill was also excavated.

This work begun in April, 1903, was completed early in the year at a total cost of $4,327.91, giving accommodation for 27 new stalls.

Beyond preparing drawings nothing could be done here until the new Gunpowder Magazine at Green Island was completed as it was intended to construct this Prison on the site of the present Gunpowder Magazine

This work begun in 1903 was finished in March. The total cost was $10,593.94 including gas fittings subsequently put in. The bath-house has accommodation for 28 men and separate cubicles for 10 women. There is a hot water installation, and quarters for the caretaker. It has been much used by both sexes since its opening.

56. Under a special vote a public urinal asked for by the Sanitary Board, close to the Chair Shelter at the Peak, was begun in July and was nearly completed at the end of the year. This structure is of the granite rubble type with dressed stone facings. It has an independent water supply and is specially carefully drained owing to its position.

 

The work was started in 1903 and completed in May, at a total cost of $17,603.73, a full description of them is given in the previous year’s Report.

62. (Special vote.) .This work for many years contemplated was at last commenced in June 1904, under a special vote and up to the end of the year good progress had been made, most of the roof being in position. The increase of accommodation to the Station will be four rooms each 40' 6” x 22’ 6” and two 33’ 6” x 22’ 6” one 20’ 0" x 14’ 0” one 15' 11”. x 14' 9”, and two 16’ 0" x 10' 0” and several rooms 7’ 10” x 5' 9" on stairs. Matsheds for the temporary accommodation of the men displaced, who formerly occupied the second floor, were erected on the Praya opposite the Hong kong Club.

63. (Supplementary vote.) This work was begun early in 1903 and was finished in March. 1904, out of a re-vote. There was great delay owing to the Contractor not pushing on with the work and eventually the actual finishing was done by another Contractor. The extra accommodation of the extension is one  room 19’ 0” x 14’ 3" and one 19' 0” x 18’ 6” over. Each room has a verandah 18’ 0” x 5’ 0” of concrete supported on iron columns. The total cost of the work was $3,014.92. '

(Item 19.) Cable for Observatory and other Telephone lines to Kowloon. - This cable was successfully laid on 25th April, between North Point Cable House and Kowloon - It is one mile in length and has eight specially wound cores in anticipation of metallic circuit being employed on the Government lines and for which extensive preparations have already been made. It is the heaviest cable ever laid in the Harbour weighing approximately 17 tons.

This survey was completed early in the year, and a general map of the New Territory on a scale of 2" to a mile, composed of eleven sheets, was prepared by Mr. NEWLAND shewing contours, streams, roads, paths, villages. Cultivated areas, &c. The map was forwarded to England for reproduction and has since been received. Mr. NEWLAND returned to India in May after forwarding a special report  to the Government on this work. (See Sessional Paper No. 31/1904)

 

There are 65 Demarcation Districts. covering an area of 23,892.60 acres surveyed on the 16” scale. These had not been resurveyed on the 32” scale on account of the expense entailed as it was believed that the plans on the 16” scale would sufiice, but they are practically useless for land sale purposes, most of the villages being shewn in one block without distinguishing boundaries or roads.

 

According to Mr. NEWLAND’s Report referred to above there are 8,928 Traverse Stations in the New Territory, of these 4,712 have been marked with earthenware cylinders leaving 4,216 marked with pickets.

 

It is found that a large number of the cylinders have been removed and destroyed by the villagers, particularly in Survey District IV between between Sham Shui po and Lai-chi-kok, steps will be taken to reinstate the more important of these stations with more permanent marks. It has been decided that permanent marks are not necessary in all cases tor stations which are on hillsides and away from cultivation.

 

It was found that certain areas of cultivation had been overlooked in the original survey, the chief of these being the Islands of Sin A Chan and Tai A Chau, situated off the South-east of Lantao Island ; these have now been surveyed and Demarcation Sheets for them prepared.

 

70. (Item 24.) Praya East Reclamation.—The negotiations pending with the Naval and Military Authorities at the date of last year’s report were practically brought to a conclusion by some sacrifice on the part of the Colonial Government. But the promoters of the reclamation have now modified their plans, and it rests with the marine lot-owners to say what they will undertake to do.

 

The work of raising the level of the carriageway of the Praya East was completed on 9th February, or within three months of the date of commencement, and 37 days under the contract time (allowing for a fortnight's interval for Chinese New Year). The total cost was $38.401.29 of which $13,107.95 were expended in 1903. As this expenditure has been charged to an advance account, it appears in the addenda to Appendix B lt is recoverable from the fund to be hereafter established for carrying out the Reclamation scheme.

 

A contract was let in September for raising the level of the footpaths, and effecting some other improvements, but the work had not been finished at the end of the year, owing to delay brought about by endeavours to meet the wishes of the property-owners affected. The expenditure on these works amounted to $2,127.65. and this expenditure is being dealt with in the some way as that incurred in connection with the raising of the carriageway.

 

71, Praya Reclamation Works. Last year’s report was supposed to be the last under this heading but some minor matters were not quite completed and they are given below:

 

Work executed.———The little bit of road-making remaining to be done on Section No. 6W was completed in January. The similar work required to complete Section No. 1W was finished in July, alter the Trainways were laid.

 

Reconstruction of Government Piers.—The boat-slip for the new Harbour Office was satisfactorily completed in October, by Mr. Tsang Keng, the Contractor for this work.

 

72. (Special Vote.) Tai-kok-tsui Reclamation.—ln consequence of the failure of a sea Wall in front of some private lots at Tai-kok-tsui the Government took the opportunity to reclaim the adjoining areas in conjunction with the owners, and to extend the wall westward. Messrs. DENISON, RAM & GIBBS who were carrying out the work for the owners were asked to construct the Government portion. The contract was let in June and the work had fairly advanced at the end of the year, though owing to the ordinary operations necessary for the rubble foundation, the favourable tides were missed and so the pierre perdue was not so far advanced as was hoped for.

 

This reclamation will be a great improvement to the locality and as the sewers are being laid at the same time, when the work is finished there is no doubt that the Government will profit by the transaction in the sale of Marine and Inland lots. This work is estimated to cost. $40,500.

 

Kau U Fong Resumption - This scheme for opening up the densely crowded area in the centre of the block bounded by Aberdeen Street, Gough Street and Wellington Street referred to in the last Report has been pushed forward. Alternative plans were prepared for dealing with the property and it was finally decided to construct a road from Aberdeen Street to Gough Street, the first part having an easy gradient, and finishing at the Gough Street end with a flight of steps. The whole length ultimately to be 30 ft. wide but for the present the piece facing On Wo Lane to be slightly less than this. This modification with the flight of steps at the Gough Street end, was necessary to prevent the remaining property from being unduly injured by the carrying out of the works ; it is hoped, however, that at a later date, several of the houses in On Wo Lane will he re-built when the whole road will be widened to 30 feet.

75. (Item 27.) Construction of Buttls.—-The new Military Butts behind Kowloon City were constructed by the Military Authorities at the cost of the Government and practically completed by the end of the year.

 

76. (Item 28.) Diversion of Roads-—-Rifle Ranges, Kowloon. It was found necessary to divert the old road through the llifle Ranges and accordingly this was arranged for. This road is 6 feet wide and about 2 miles long with a gradient of about 1 in 10. lt starts from the main road near Kowloon City and runs up the Eastern slope of the ridge to the immediate West of the Rifle Ranges until it reaches an elevation of about 337 feet above sea level and then meanders along the summit of the hills for about 700 yards dropping to a gap at the 300-feet contour and then rising again to 550 feet. From this point the path zig-zags up the face of the hill to join the existing path. Stone culvert and drain pipes are provided to accommodate various streams and a length of rubble wall was necessary on the last section. The ground in parts was very loose and repairs to the road were necessary in the latter part of the year. These were put in hand but after a length of 2,162 feet was done the work was stopped until after the next rainy season that it may be seen to what extent the road will need reconstruction owing to the loose and sandy nature of the soil.

 

78, (Item 30.) Road across King’s Park (K.I.L. 652 to Sixth Street).- This Work, begun in 1903 and described in para. 70 of Director of Public Works report,1903, was completed in November, 1904. The road is 3,000 feet long and 100 feet wide, the total cost being $39,946.29. The work also included s nullah alongside 10'0" by 5' 0” with stone walls and concrete invert. This road will probably be designated Gascoigne Road and forms the first section of the 100-foot road across the Peninsula to the East of Robinson Road Extension which was also taken in hand under the vote “Forming and Kerbing Streets.” -(See. Para. 30). Arrangements were made to light it electrically from January, 1905.

 

Portions of certain Lots were resumed in connection with this extension of Robinson Road, viz., Kowloon Inland Lots 1011, 69A, 79, S0 and 81, and paid for from special votes. (See also para. 2.)

 

79. (Item 31.) Road to  Lai-chi-kok—This road was roughly surveyed and pegged out, but in view of litigation in the neighbourhood under Land Court rulings it was decided to postpone its construction.

 

80. (Supplementary vote.) Tai Po Road.—Therc was a great deal of trouble in the past over getting this work finished by the original Contractor, CHUNG YUNG, and the work was finally taken out of his hands and given to another Contractor to finish in 1903.  The last mile was finished in 1903 and Contract No. 25 0f 1901 for miles 14, 15, 16 and 17 was completed in March, 1904. The original Contractor died in 1904 and his executors finally accepted the statement made out by the Public Works Department. The expenditure during the year was $4,486.29 from a. re-vote and the total cost of the road (1&½ miles) has been $233,329.95 or $13,333.14 per mile.

 

81. Harlech Road and the Road between Wan-chai and Wong-nei-chong Gaps were completed by the Military and formally handed over to the Colonial Government. The latter road being styled “ Black’s Link.”

 

82. Private Streets Improvement.-—Repairs were effected under this head to the following: Chiu Loong Street and the lane between this street and Li Yuen Street.

 

83. Alterations and Exchanges in connection with Praya at Kowloon, (see para. 89 of Report 1903) .—.These schemes were successfully arranged and received the sanction of the Secretary of State. Arrangements for the resumptions necessary for the 100-foot road (Salisbury) projected to run right across the Peninsula were put in hand. The Star Ferry Pier will be moved to this point and so passenger traffic» into Kowloon will not be interfered with by the goods traffic of the Godown Company on the Praya which will be handed over to them on certain terms.

In the early part of the year a beginning was made to lay the new 5” and 6” W. I. Rising Main from Bonham Road to the Peak to replace the existing 3” mains. Owing to the steep nature of the ground to be traversed progress was necessarily very slow. The work, however, was practically completed before the end of the year. An attempt was made to shorten its route by laying it through waste private land but the owner would not consent to any arrangement.

 

The two boilers for the new Engine and Pump for Bonham Road Pumping Station arrived in June, and the machinery in September; previous to this date the excavation had been made for the extension of the buildings and the erection of the new chimney shaft, the piping inside the building removed and re-fixed outside, and the preparations for the foundations of the new Pump were being made. By the end of the year, the erection of the engine was nearly completed and a contract had been let and work begun on the extension of the buildings, &c.

 

Owing to the large amount of other important work on hand and in the absence on vacation leave of the second Executive Engineer for Water and Drainage works it was found impossible to do anything towards the re-construction of No. 2 Tank beyond preparing plans and estimates

 

However, the owner of Inland Lot No. 509 was approached and the sum of $6,500 was paid to him for the land necessary for this work from a special vote for the purpose.

 

89. (Item 38.) Tytam Drainage area, Byewash Reservoir. - This Reservoir was actually completed in May and the contract was closed after the six months maintenance period. lt  as however made use of in 1903. The additional storage capacity to the Water-works of over 26 million gallons has helped to delay the period of intermittent supply to the city. The Works consist of the construction of two dams, valve tower and outlet works, bungalow and the diversion and formation of roads. The Reservoir collects the, overflow from the Tytam Reservoir, and water running off a small catchment area. The overflow weir is fixed 6 feet below the Tytam Reservoir overflow weir. lt is further described in 1903 Report para. 49.

 

90. (Item 39.) Tytam Tuk Scheme - First Section. (see paragraph 64, Report 1903). Contract No. 13 of 1904.—The sanction of the Secretary of.State was obtained for this Scheme on the 1st of January, 1904. On the 1st of February a few selected Contractors were invited to tender, and on. the 16th of March the contract was let to KANG ON. The works to be constructed under this contract are :—

 

(1.) A concrete and masonry dam to impound 194 million gallons.

(2.) A pumping station site and landing stage on the west shore of Tytam Bay.

(3.) A new 20-foot road from the gap through which the Stanley Road passes above Tytam Tuk, to near Tytam Bye-wash Reservoir.

(4.) Access roads to the pumping station and to Tytam gauge-basin and a track for the suction main.

(5.)  A rising main 18” diameter front the pumping station to Tytam gauge basin and a suction main 18” diameter from the dam to the pumping station.

 

Contracts Nos. 21 and 23 of 1904.—-Additional contracts were let to KANG ON on the 13th of September for the construction of a pump-pit, house and European quarters.

98. Owing to the Formation of at Camp in the King’s Park, Kowloon, for the interment of the Russian Oflicers and Sailors, provision has had to be made for drainage and supplying the Camp with water.

 

An extension was made to the West Point Filter-Beds Bungalow, an additional bed-room and bath-house being added to give more accommodation to the Overseer living there.